For what it’s worth I’m sorry for the Amy Schumer sturm und drang of the last couple of days. She’s a first-class talent and deserves more respect than what I gave her. I know I’m not thinking wrong but I’m probably saying it wrong from time to time. ”It’s hard to grow up…it doesn’t stop when you’re 40…a hard row to hoe.” These words were shared a few nights ago by Ethan Hawke during a Charlie Rose interview, and they got to me. So I’m sorry, truly, for not dealing my cards with a little more compassion and gentility. I wasn’t incorrect in saying that social attractiveness standards have changed over the past decade or so, largely due to the creations of one Judd Apatow and those who’ve climbed aboard his ferry boat. But I could have put it a bit more delicately and diplomatically. Then again that’s not what the HE brand is about, is it?
It’s in my Hollywood Elsewhere nature or karma to get beaten up once or twice each year by the moshpit beasts of the Twitterverse. Long is the road and hard that out of darkness leads up to light — that John Milton quote has my name on it. Sobriety (my third anniversary is a month away) has bestowed a sense of peace and even serenity at times, and it has toned down or modified the ever-present anger in the belly. Which I’m not at all sorry about as anger has been the eternal fuel of my writing career, born of an alcoholic father, a bordering-on-evil public school system and the awful repression of a whitebread, middle-class suburban upbringing that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. Add to this a growing notion that I’ve learned a thing or two plus my natural inclination to shoot my mouth off first and think about it later, and wham…every now and then I poke a hornet’s nest or step on a landmine and the raptors parachute down upon Maple Street.
It feels really bad to be yelled at all the time. The PTSD thing is really quite upsetting and depressing. I get riled up and my back arches when I should take a stress pill.
The last time before the Schumer thing was when I intemperately predicted on the night of the Ferguson Grand Jury verdict that Selma would benefit down the road because people will want to celebrate the nobility and dignity and heroism of its depictions film rather than curse the present darkness. I was 100% right, and for that accuracy I was all but murdered by Twitter fiends. The time before that was the “Bellowing Psychopath” moment at Leows 34th Street when an African-American (i.e., non-Swedish) asshole wouldn’t stop barking out commentary and thereby ruined a screening of The Wolf of Wall Street. The time before that was the June 2013 James Gandolfini funeral thing.
I don’t want to drag the late, magisterial David Carr into this but his passing last night shocked me right down to the marrow of my bones, and we all know how great sadnesses have a way of re-ordering our thinking and opening our minds a crack. As I greatly admired Carr and as he had a place in his heart and his head for me, I want to be extra-worthy of his friendship today. I want to be better. I can’t get away from the anger but I want to be wiser and shrewder and get into fewer gang brawls. Peace to all except for certain brutes and haters who know who they are, and who will forever be blocked on Twitter and will be forever scowled at when I see them at screenings and other press events.